In this historical tour-de-force Victor Lieberman moves beyond the traditional area studies boundaries to examine common patterns in another configuration, Eurasia. He argues that island and mainland Southeast Asia, Japan, Russia, France, China, and South Asia experienced parallel developments in territorial consolidation, administrative centralization, and cultural integration that strengthened lowland polities at the expense of outlying areas. What made it all possible was the convergence of a number of factors: the expansion of material resources, new cultural currents, intense interstate competition, and state interventions. Lieberman nonetheless acknowledges that there were “major discrepancies” in geography, population, and social and cultural models among the polities that he examined (Lieberman II: 50–1). For island Southeast Asia, these “major discrepancies” constituted a fundamental impediment to the “territorial consolidation, administrative centralization, and cultural integration” by which Lieberman characterizes Eurasia

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